Biography of Bishop John Cosins 1594-1672

On 30 Nov 1594 Bishop John Cosins was born at Norwich, Norfolk [Map].

In Dec 1624 Bishop John Cosins (age 30) was appointed Prebendary of Durham.

On 09 Sep 1625 Bishop John Cosins (age 30) was appointed Archdeacon of the East Riding of Yorkshire which position he held until 1660.

On 15 Aug 1626 Bishop John Cosins (age 31) and Frances Blakiston were married at St Margaret's Church.

On 08 Feb 1635 Bishop John Cosins (age 40) was appointed Master of Peterhouse College, Cambridge University [Map].

In 1640 Bishop John Cosins (age 45) was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University of Cambridge University.

In Oct 1640 Bishop John Cosins (age 45) was appointed Dean of Peterborough.

On 25 Mar 1642 [his wife] Frances Blakiston died.

Evelyn's Diary. 29 Dec 1649. I christened Sir Hugh Rilie's child with Sir George Radcliffe in our chapel, the parents being so poor that they had provided no gossips, so as several of us drawing lots it fell on me, the Dean of Peterborough (Dr. Cousin (age 55)) officiating: we named it Andrew, being on the eve of that Apostle's day.

Evelyn's Diary. 12 Jun 1650. Being Trinity Sunday, the Dean of Peterborough (age 55) preached; after which there was an ordination of two divines, Durell and Brevent (the one was afterward Dean of Windsor, the other of Durham, both very learned persons). The Bishop of Galloway officiated with great gravity, after a pious and learned exhortation declaring the weight and dignity of their function, especially now in a time of the poor Church of England's affliction. He magnified the sublimity of the calling, from the object, viz, the salvation of men's souls, and the glory of God; producing many human instances of the transitoriness and vanity of all other dignity; that of all the triumphs the Roman conquerors made, none was comparable to that of our Blessed Savior's, when he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men, namely, that of the Holy Spirit, by which his faithful and painful ministers triumphed over Satan as often as they reduced a sinner from the error of his ways. He then proceeded to the ordination. They were presented by the Dean in their surplices before the altar, the Bishop sitting in a chair at one side; and so were made both Deacons and Priests at the same time, in regard to the necessity of the times, there being so few Bishops left in England, and consequently danger of a failure of both functions. Lastly, they proceeded to the Communion. This was all performed in Sir Richard Browne's (age 45) chapel, at Paris.

Evelyn's Diary. 01 Oct 1651. The Dean of Peterborough (age 56) [Dr. Cosin] preached on Job xiii., verse 15, encouraging our trust in God on all events and extremities, and for establishing and comforting some ladies of great quality, who were then to be discharged from our Queen-Mother's (age 50) service unless they would go over to the Romish Mass.

Evelyn's Diary. 01 Oct 1651. The Dean (age 56), dining this day at our house, told me the occasion of publishing those Offices, which among the Puritans were wont to be called Cosin's cozening Devotions, by way of derision. At the first coming of the Queen into England, she and her French ladies were often upbraiding our religion, that had neither appointed nor set forth any hours of prayer, or breveries, by which ladies and courtiers, who have much spare time, might edify and be in devotion, as they had. Our Protestant ladies, scandalized it seems at this, moved the matter to the King; whereupon his Majesty presently called Bishop White to him and asked his thoughts of it, and whether there might not be found some forms of prayer proper on such occasions, collected out of some already approved forms, that so the court ladies and others (who spent much time in trifling) might at least appear as devout, and be so too, as the new-come-over French ladies, who took occasion to reproach our want of zeal and religion. On which, the Bishop told his Majesty that it might be done easily, and was very necessary; whereupon the King commanded him to employ some person of the clergy to compile such a Work, and presently the Bishop naming Dr. Cosin (age 56), the King (age 21) enjoined him to charge the Doctor in his name to set about it immediately. This the Dean told me he did; and three months after, bringing the book to the King, he commanded the Bishop of London to read it over, and make his report; this was so well liked, that (contrary to former custom of doing it by a chaplain) he would needs give it an imprimatur under his own hand. Upon this there were at first only 200 copies printed; nor, said he, was there anything in the whole book of my own composure, nor did I set any name as author to it, but those necessary prefaces, etc., out of the Fathers, touching the times and seasons of prayer; all the rest being entirely translated and collected out of an Office published by authority of Queen Elizabeth, anno 1560, and our own Liturgy. This I rather mention to justify that industrious and pious Dean, who had exceedingly suffered by it, as if he had done it of his own head to introduce Popery, from which no man was more averse, and one who in this time of temptation and apostacy held and confirmed many to our Church.

Evelyn's Diary. 21 Dec 1651. Came to visit my wife (age 16), Mrs. Lane, the lady who conveyed the King (age 21) to the seaside at his escape from Worcester. Mr. John Cosin, son of the Dean (age 57), debauched by the priests, wrote a letter to me to mediate for him with his father. I prepared for my last journey, being now resolved to leave France altogether.

Evelyn's Diary. 13 Apr 1652. I was moved by a letter out of France to publish the letter which some time since I sent to Dean Cosin's (age 57) proselyted son; but I did not conceive it convenient, for fear of displeasing her Majesty (age 21), the Queen.

Evelyn's Diary. 31 Aug 1654. Peter-House [Map], formerly under the government of my worthy friend, Dr. Joseph Cosin (age 59) [Note. Joseph appears to be a mistake for John?], Dean of Peterborough; a pretty neat college, having a delicate chapel. Next to Sidney, a fine college.

On 05 Nov 1660 Bishop John Cosins (age 65) was elected Bishop of Durham.

On 02 Dec 1660 Bishop John Cosins (age 66) was consecrated Bishop of Durham.

On 08 Dec 1660 Bishop John Cosins (age 66) was enthroned Bishop of Durham.

Evelyn's Diary. 17 May 1663. I saluted the old Bishop of Durham, Dr. Cosin (age 68), to whom I had been kind, and assisted in his exile; but which he little remembered in his greatness.

Pepy's Diary. 21 Nov 1667. Up, and to the office, where all the morning, and at noon home, where my wife not very well, but is to go to Mr. Mills's child's christening, where she is godmother, Sir J. Minnes (age 68) and Sir R. Brookes (age 30) her companions. I left her after dinner (my clerks dining with me) to go with Sir J. Minnes (age 68), and I to the office, where did much business till after candlelight, and then my eyes beginning to fail me, I out and took coach to Arundell House [Map], where the meeting of Gresham College was broke up; but there meeting Creed, I with him to the taverne in St. Clement's Churchyard, where was Deane Wilkins (age 53), Dr. Whistler, Dr. Floyd (age 40), a divine admitted, I perceive, this day, and other brave men; and there, among other things of news, I do hear, that upon the reading of the House of Commons's Reasons of the manner of their proceedings in the business of my Chancellor (age 58), the Reasons were so bad, that my Lord Bristoll (age 55) himself did declare that he would not stand to what he had, and did still, advise the Lords to concur to, upon any of the Reasons of the House of Commons; but if it was put to the question whether it should be done on their Reasons, he would be against them; and indeed it seems the Reasons-however they come to escape the House of Commons, which shews how slightly the greatest matters are done in this world, and even in Parliaments were none of them of strength, but the principle of them untrue; they saying, that where any man is brought before a judge, accused of Treason in general, without specifying the particular, the judge do there constantly and is obliged to commit him. Whereas the question being put by the Lords to my Lord Keeper, he said that quite the contrary was true: and then, in the Sixth Article (I will get a copy of them if I can) there are two or three things strangely asserted to the diminishing of the King's power, as is said, at least things that heretofore would not have been heard of. But then the question being put among the Lords, as my Lord Bristoll (age 55) advised, whether, upon the whole matter and Reasons that had been laid before them, they would commit my Lord Clarendon (age 58), it was carried five to one against it; there being but three Bishops against him, of whom Cosens (age 72) and Dr. Reynolds were two, and I know not the third. This made the opposite Lords, as Bristoll (age 55) and Buckingham (age 39), so mad, that they declared and protested against it, speaking very broad that there was mutiny and rebellion in the hearts of the Lords, and that they desired they might enter their dissents, which they did do, in great fury.

Evelyn's Diary. 14 Nov 1668. To London, invited to the consecration of that excellent person, the Dean of Ripon, Dr. Wilkins (age 54), now made Bishop of Chester; it was at Ely House, the Archbishop of Canterbury (age 70), Dr. Cosin (age 73), Bishop of Durham, the Bishops of Ely (age 77), Salisbury, Rochester (age 43), and others officiating. Dr. Tillotson (age 38) preached. Then, we went to a sumptuous dinner in the hall, where were the Duke of Buckingham (age 40), Judges, Secretaries of State, Lord-Keeper, Council, Noblemen, and innumerable other company, who were honorers of this incomparable man, universally beloved by all who knew him.

On 15 Jan 1672 Bishop John Cosins (age 77) died.

Evelyn's Diary. 15 Jul 1685. Ross, tutor to the Duke of Monmouth, proposed to Bishop Cozens to sign a certificate of the King's marriage to Mrs. Barlow, though her own name was Walters: this the Bishop refused. She was born of a gentleman's family in Wales, but having little means and less grace, came to London to make her fortune. Algernon Sidney, then a Colonel in Cromwell's army, had agreed to give her 50 broad pieces (as he told the Duke of York) but being ordered hastily away with his regiment, he missed his bargain. She went into Holland, where she fell into the hands of his brother Colonel Robert Sidney, who kept her for some time, till the King hearing of her, got her from him. On which the Colonel was heard to say, Let who will have her she is already sped and after being with the King she was so soon with child that the world had no cause to doubt whose child it was, and the rather that when he grew to be a man, he very much resembled the Colonel both in stature and countenance, even to a wort on his face. However the King owned the child. In the King's absence she behaved so loosely, that on his return from his escape at Worcester, he would have no further commerce with her, and she became a common prostitute at Paris. Life of King James II Vol I.

[his son] John Cosin was born to Bishop John Cosins and Frances Blakiston.